created almost 100 years later W r i t i n g
Chapter 5 – Codes and Codification –
This chapter differentiates between civil law systems and what is known as common law. Also the distinction between legislative [i.e., Congressional] and judicial [i.e., the Supreme Court] is analyzed. Let’s see what critique you can come up with for this chapter . . .OPINIONATED ONE PARAGRAPH then reply to one student.
STUDENT 1- Based on the reading in Chapter 5, it focuses on the civil and common between different revolutions. The civil law system was a codified statutory system. Yet, the common law was an uncodified system and mainly based on the large part of the judicial decisions. The codes started mostly in the 19th century. Hungary and Greece were the two main civil law countries. Hungary was uncodified until it become a socialist state. On the other hand, Greece became part of the civil code after World War II. Within the French codification, there was statism. This led to the attempt to abolish all prior law and limit the effect of law to new legislation. This was better known as Corupus Juris Civilis.With new legislation, there was also a need for new society and government. Moreover, Code Napoleon under the French Civil Code of 1804, established a book of legal rights that included straightforward and direct laws. This was made to limit the need of lawyers and make lawyers unnecessary to the legal system. Jean-Etienne-Marie Portalis was one of the most influential drafters of the code. His aim was to show codes build on pre revolutionary law and legal scholarship. In contrast, Code Napoleon which was also under the German Civil Code of 1896, did not intend on abolishing any laws or substituting a new legal system. California Civil Code or Uniform Commercial Code strongly related to this particular code. Instead the main objective was to discover ideas of law from assumptions about human nature. Friedrich Karl von Savigny, who was the most famous names in history of civil law tradition. All in all, the German Civil Code was considered the opposite of the French Civil Code. While these two civil codes had differences, they also had similarities. The codes both wanted separation of powers into their system of law and government.
STUDENT 2- This chapter discusses the similarities and differences between nations’ codifications, specifically France and Germany. France’s revolutionary ideology and immense nationalism greatly impacted their civil code, but I feel they were very drastic in repealing prior law. Instead of only taking desirable aspects from the prior system, they could’ve also taken undesirable aspects and made them desirable in the new legal system. The French ensured that the principle of checks and balances was not violated. On the other hand, the German legal system was created almost 100 years later, which, in my view, was a bit more organized because they used natural data. Instead of abolishing prior law, the Germans sought to perfect it and codify principles from the German legal system. I’m afraid I have to disagree with one aspect about the German civil code and that it was “thought of as a tool to be used primarily by professionals of the law.” (Merryman & Perdomo, p. 32) The problem with not letting citizens access material concerning the law has caused many problems that United States citizens deal with today. People don’t know their rights and don’t know what to say or do when in custody, and many of the people in power take advantage of this. Many people may not have the money to pay for a lawyer out there who has access to the best material to help them. They then get stuck with public defenders with thousands of cases that couldn’t care less for them. This country and the criminal justice system take advantage and thrive off the material they keep hidden from its citizens, which isn’t a fair and just system to me.